10 Helpful Thinking Patterns to Battle Imposter Syndrome

10 Helpful Thinking Patterns to Battle Imposter Syndrome

Feeling out of place? Do you feel like somehow your work doesn’t stand out? You may be experiencing imposter syndrome.


 Merriam-Webster defines imposter syndrome as “the persistent doubt concerning one’s abilities or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one’s ongoing success.” 


 Most of us have felt this way at some point in our lives. Maybe you felt out of place in school or college or even at your first job. Perhaps the pressures that social media puts on us, constantly evolving in lightning fast speeds to keep up with the industry has made that time NOW. If you’re a creator then you’re probably putting your art out there for the masses to see and enjoy on social media.  How much of that is affecting your mental health? Imposter syndrome can arise from a sense of not belonging or feeling out of place in a creative environment. This can put us into a very vulnerable state and doubt our worthiness and/or downplay our achievements in comparison to peers who seemingly possess more resources and opportunities. Awareness to these feelings is key in battling them.

 Imposter syndrome can also have a profound impact on mental health, leading to heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Self-criticism can erode self-esteem, contributing to a negative self-image.

 I’m here to remind you, as with most debilitating feelings that lower your vibrations, they WILL pass with the proper shift in mindfulness.  It begins with awareness and willingness to zoom out and take a closer look at why you’re feeling this way.  I should also add that I am in no way certified as a professional in any realms of mental health and you’re the only person that really knows the "WHY" or reasons you feel a certain way.  I’m simply a photography instructor that speaks to many students about the psychology behind this growing epidemic we call “Imposter Syndrome".  I know what's it like to not fit in or feel like I'm an imposter where it's only a matter of time until they find out I don't belong. I felt this way many times when I was younger in high school and college.  I only wished I knew more about imposter syndrome so I could have shifted my mindset and realized I was important too.


10 helpful thinking patterns to battle Imposter Syndrome…


  1. Be proud of the journey and work it’s taken for you to get here. You’ve come so far since the first day you picked up a camera.
  2. Perfection is a mirage that will make you thirstier in the driest of all the deserts.  What does this mean? Your pursuit for perfection is great but don’t allow it to stop you from quenching your thirst by working on projects along the way or you’ll find yourself in a desolate desert of zero finished work.  We feel the need to be perfect when there is virtually no such thing. So, finish that project today!
  3. It’s so very important to allow yourself to accept your skills as a creative TODAY.  You will always be climbing that mountain and trust me, the mountain has endless peaks that you'll metaphorically never reach so it’s important that you celebrate and appreciate the views each day as you climb. In other words, once you summit the peak in sight you're instantly setting your sights on the next and so on and so on...We actually never reach the top no matter how high we get.
  4. Nobody is the same so it’s needless to say that comparing yourself to others often gives you temporary amnesia to your own personal strengths as a creator. Stop it!
  5. Fall in love with your work, if you’re not your biggest fan, how you can you expect others to resonate with it on a deeper level.  All great things are made with love.
  6. Find a mentor that you trust and admire. Finding your rhythm and channeling it through the passion of someone else can be quite contagious to your flow state. Mentors can offer advice, share stories about their own experiences, and recommend resources.
  7. While imposter syndrome is challenging to dismiss, do not lose sight of the fact that you are worthy, and you deserve to be where you are, just as much as everyone else. If you face a roadblock, remember you have support systems around to give you a lift, whether it’s friends, coaches, mentors, or family!
  8. Acknowledge and validate how you feel so you can do the introspective work and recognize your “why”.
  9. Embrace the mistakes you’ve made and only compare yourself to the younger version of yourself. Through mistakes, introspection, and a passion comes growth.
  10. Stop Caring!  Who cares what other people think about your art, your shoes, your hair, your dance moves, etc... If you’re like most, you didn’t get into creating to appease the world so make sure to prioritize what you care about and not what you think others care about.


Embrace the positive feedback on your work

 If you find yourself battling imposter syndrome, this advice might be particularly tough to swallow, but it's crucial to start believing in the genuine praise from your clients and peers that recognize your own talent. It's a common saying that we are our own toughest critics, especially for those of us who are self-taught. Refusing to accept the positive feedback from people can lead to burnout and a loss of motivation. Confidence is key to breaking free from the shackles of imposter syndrome. Make a conscious effort to acknowledge your skills and trust the compliments you receive about your work. The more you internalize the positive reviews and compliments, the more you'll come to realize your own talent and potential for success in your freelance endeavors.


In Conclusion

 Overcoming imposter syndrome, particularly as a photographer, isn't something that happens overnight. It's a journey that will have its ups and downs as you continue to evolve your craft. Be patient with yourself and show yourself kindness along the way. Start by making peace with imposter syndrome, and when you're ready, take proactive steps to address it using the strategies and mindsets outlined above. If it ever gets to feel too overwhelming that reach out to trained professional for help.  Keep creating my friends!











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